Before anyone starts claiming that this is nostalgia speaking, please, just read the whole article first.
Back when Animal Crossing: New Horizons dropped for the Nintendo Switch, me and my wife were super excited. I grew up playing the old one on the Gamecube, and fondly talked about the great memories I had as a kid with it. I would tell her that I would wake up in the morning to have my little avatar say hello to all the towns people, go to school daydreaming of what they could be doing, then coming home to talk to them all about their days. It’s honestly so nostalgic thinking back on how much I truly cared about my little community. So, when we got our Switch we were excited for the new entry into the franchise. If only we knew what was coming.
At its core, New Horizons is the same game, but literally everything new is completely damaging. Looks, regular readers know I don’t bash games. Video games take a long time to make, and I appreciate them as an art rather than a service or product. That being said, there are just some things I just can’t ignore, even more so in a franchise I love. One of the features we were most looking forward to is the ability to make our own little islands then go visit each other leaving little presents! That didn’t turn out for one of the stupidest decisions ever made. They decided to only allow one island per console. PER CONSOLE. That’s just absolutely ridiculous.
This really turned me off to the game, but we decided to continue on. After some time the game just died off, not just for us, but in general. The game just simply got boring. I’d place a new tent for my neighbors and they’d do nothing but just walk around aimlessly not bettering themselves in any way. There’s little to no tasks to do for them, most of them are incredibly uninteresting, and the horrible grind it is just to unlock a freaking shovel is ridiculous.
There was never a time where I felt like I was accomplishing anything. Worst of all, there was never a time where I felt close to my neighbor. That’s literally what the game is about. It’s a social simulator, except there’s nothing social about it. There was never a time when I was at work just wondering how the villagers are doing, because they honestly were all the same. Very little was unique about them, and that’s what was most disappointing. There was just no personality in a game that should thrive with it. All of this is the result of one thing. The multiplayer. The developers wanted to make a social game that presented players with interactions with real other players rather than NPCs like the franchise was built on. It lost what made it so special.
Now, as I said, I don’t like to hate on games. The developers’ hearts were in the right place, it just didn’t work out this time. Hopefully in the future we’ll get a return to how Animal Crossing used to be, but it seems that going forward they’re going to ride New Horizons as long as they can. It’s unfortunate, but I have faith for the future of the franchise. We just have to be patient!
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